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Danish party’s grassroots calls for coalition exit after tax cut humiliation

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Danish party’s grassroots calls for coalition exit after tax cut humiliation
Anders Samuelsen. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Scanpix Denmark
09:49 CET+01:00
A local committee of the libertarian Liberal Alliance party wants leader Anders Samuelsen to exit the coalition government after expected tax cuts were not delivered.

Local chairperson Kjeld Wetlesen of the Fjordbyerne branch of the party in northeastern Zealand told Ritzau that Liberal Alliance politics were not being achieved by virtue of the government collaboration.

The grassroots pushback comes after Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen announced on Monday that the government would not continue pursuing a parliamentary majority for a tax plan that would have delivered lower rates to high-end earners.

The announcement by Rasmussen is a blow for coalition partner Liberal Alliance, for which tax cuts are a core party issue.

“We feel that we are not implementing the policies we have in our programme, which would be fantastic and an advantage for Denmark,” Wetlesen said.

“There have been too many setbacks and battles that have not given results. It’s time for us to take a clear stand,” he added.

“Things have been an uphill struggle since we joined the government. Only a few small things have been achieved. And our great ambition for tax reductions has almost stalled,” the local chairperson continued.

Similar appeals to the Liberal Alliance leadership have come from local branches across Denmark, broadcaster DR reported on Wednesday.

Wetlesen said his appeal should not be perceived as a direct criticism of Samuelsen.

“We think to a great degree that he is the person who characterises the party. And he should have as much support for that as possible. But we have a friendly request for him to just think things over and consider whether it would be better for us to leave the government,” Wetlesen said.

The libertarian party’s political spokesperson Christina Egelund rejected suggestions that Liberal Alliance would gain influence by being outside of the coalition.

“I am in no doubt that we have a greater influence on the government the way the pieces fit together now than we would have had outside of the government,” she said.

Samuelsen told newspaper Jyllands-Posten that he understood the frustration expressed by his party’s grassroots.

“I can understand there is frustration in relation to the achievements that were hoped for. It is a little similar to wishing for ten cars. That is Liberal Alliance’s full programme.

“We have obtained one and a half, nearly two cars. Should we then say, ‘that is enough, now we’re getting out’? I certainly don’t think so,” Samuelsen said.

READ ALSO: Tax cut plans scrapped by Danish government

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